UN Chief Calls For Urgent Action To Combat Desertification And Drought

On the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, the UN chief emphasised the urgent need for global collaboration to protect the planet's future
Growing populations coupled with unsustainable production and consumption patterns fuel the demand for natural resources, putting excessive pressure on land to the point of degradation.
Growing populations coupled with unsustainable production and consumption patterns fuel the demand for natural resources, putting excessive pressure on land to the point of degradation.

With nearly 40 percent of the world's land already degraded and more acres being lost every second, there is an urgent need for governments, businesses, and communities to come together and take immediate action to reverse this damage and protect our planet. This was the strong message delivered by the UN chief on the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. Each of us, governments, businesses, and communities - would need to work collectively and have a crucial role to play in arresting this alarming trend. Desertification, land degradation and drought are currently among the most pressing environmental challenges.

The Day’s theme is United for Land. Our Legacy. Our Future spotlighting the future of land stewardship, which is the planet’s most precious resource to ensure the stability and prosperity of billions of people around the world.

Healthy land not only provides us with almost 95 percent of food eaten around the world but so much more. It clothes and shelters people, provide jobs and livelihoods, and protects communities from the worsening droughts, floods and wildfires. The health of our land is directly linked to the health of our lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems, underscoring the urgency of our actions.

Growing populations coupled with unsustainable production and consumption patterns fuel the demand for natural resources, putting excessive pressure on land to the point of degradation.

At the same time, desertification and drought are driving forced migration, putting tens of millions of people each year at risk of displacement.

Of the world’s eight billion inhabitants, over one billion young people under the age of 25 years live in developing countries, particularly in regions that rely directly upon land and natural resources for sustenance. Their active involvement in land restoration and sustainable land management is crucial. Creating job prospects for rural populations is a viable solution that gives young people access to eco-entrepreneurship opportunities and, at the same time, to scale up best practices.

To do this, he pointed to building momentum towards the UNCCD Conference of States Parties (COP16) in Riyadh, a key global event where countries come together to review progress and set future goals in combating desertification and drought. Ensuring young people are heard in the negotiations is crucial for fostering innovative solutions and sustainable practices.

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